Dollar tumbles against euro, surges against peso on FBI Clinton probe


The U.S. dollar tumbled against a basket of major currencies on Friday while hitting a three-week high against the Mexican peso on U.S. political uncertainty after the FBI said it would review more emails related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email use.

The reports added a new twist to the U.S. presidential campaign with just 11 days to go before Election Day on Nov. 8. Analysts said the dollar’s losses against major rivals were largely on renewed uncertainty over the outcome of the election, since traders were largely expecting a Clinton victory.

Markets have tended to see Clinton as the candidate of the status quo, while there is greater uncertainty over what a victory for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international trade deals or the domestic economy.

“No one can doubt that this is a serious complication for the Clinton campaign if the investigation stays open,” said Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at WorldWideMarkets in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Clinton has been holding a commanding lead in the race to win the Electoral College and claim the presidency, according to results from the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project released on Saturday.

The euro hit an eight-day peak against the dollar of $1.0991 EUR=, putting it up about 0.9 percent on the day, while the dollar fell about 0.7 percent against the yen to a session low of 104.49 yen JPY= after hitting a three-month high of 105.53 earlier.

The dollar hit an eight-day low against the Swiss franc CHF= of 0.9859 franc. The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, hit an eight-day low of 98.242. The index was set to post a weekly decline of about 0.4 percent.

The dollar jumped more than 1.3 percent, however, against the Mexican peso to a three-week high of 19.1002 pesos MXN= before paring gains. A Trump victory has been viewed as a key risk for the Mexican currency given Trump’s promises to clamp down on immigration and rethink trade relations.

“This news that came out has the potential to give a little bit more strength to Trump’s campaign, which is obviously not very good news for Mexico,” said Sireen Harajli, currency strategist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in New York.

The dollar was last up 0.57 percent against the peso at 18.9380 pesos, with analysts attributing the moderation to profit-taking.